In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Truckin' And 'Pot' 2. Today's Top Story - Microsoft: Our Bugs Aren't The Only Problem Related Stories: - McAfee Buys Search-Warning SiteAdvisor - GAO Chides SEC For Vulnerable Data - Companies Spooked About Smart Phone Security 3. Breaking News - Apple Boot Camp: Welcome, Windows XP Recruits - Companies Get The Scoop On SOA - Careers: Techies Were Upbeat About Jobs And Finances Last Month, Says Report - Microsoft Pledges 'Significant' DRM Investment - Firefox Jumps 10% Bar - Negroponte Applauds Linux, Knocks Bill Gates - Report: TSA Lacks Funding, Planning, And Training - Sun's New Blade Server Can Mix And Match Blades And Operating Systems - Intel, Red Hat Hook Up For Virtualization, Grid Computing - Beta For Desktop Linux Interoperability Due In May - IBM Rides Harley-Davidson, Pep Boys Auto Into SOA Zone 4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web - Tiny Technology Tracks Small Subjects (Baltimore Sun) - Research Reveals Phishing Hooks (BBC News) - Financial Service: Not! (Personal Blog) 5. In Depth: Web Business - 10 Hot Web Startups You Should Know About - Report: Yahoo May Gain From Adware Click Fraud - Offbeat Shows Turn Web Into World Wide TV Network - Congress Argues Net Neutrality - Startup Launches Wiki For IT 6. Voice Of Authority - Apple Offers Windows On Macs 7. White Papers - Online Payment Fraud Trends, Merchant Practices, And Benchmarks 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -- Scott Adams
1. Editor's Note: Truckin' And 'Pot'
So call the political correctness police already. But I'm betting the title got you to read this, or at least scan it. Didn't it?
If so, you're helping make my point that a little experimentation on the Web can go a long way. Two interesting online marketing campaigns have proven that. Both were risky and edgy, for very different reasons. One, from Chevy, invites customers to go to a special Web site and submit an ad about the car maker's Tahoe truck. To say it got a, um, full load isn't an understatement. More about that later.
The other, from those wags at Park Seed, was an E-mail newsletter with the subject-line heading of "free pot," followed a few days later with a second newsletter whose subject line said, "oops, we meant, free container." (Full disclosure: I'm a subscriber to this gardening E-newsletter, which is how I learned about it.)
Claire Kuhl, Park Seed's PR director--who incidentally used to work in IT--said it was indeed done on purpose. In fact, the seed company received a huge E-mail response--three times the normal volume--"from customers who wrote that got the joke and appreciated the humor," Claire wrote (in an E-mail, of course). Only a couple complained. The privately held company is still looking at other numbers, like how much money was spent by readers of both newsletters, but early indications point to success on all fronts.
As for the Chevy campaign, the whole notion ties into General Motors' sponsorship of the TV show, The Apprentice. The idea was to invite Web-heads to a special site, where there are tools and TV clips and things they can combine in various ways. Some of the resulting user-submitted ads, as you may have already guessed, weren't very nice. Several berated Tahoes, and SUVs in general, for being gas-hogging planet-haters. Another had less than complimentary things to say about drivers of those kinds of vehicles.
But out of the 21,000 submissions received end-of-day April 3, only 20% were negative, according to Melisa Tezanos, communications manager for Chevrolet. The site has yielded over 3.5 million page views thus far, and the campaign is still ongoing through April 10. Another benefit: Over 40% of the traffic on the main Chevy site--the one that wants to sell you a car via your local dealership--originated from the Apprentice site.
What I came away with from both these campaigns is that the online world is the place to try wild and crazy things, even in a corporate setting. The Web is still a young medium, and there aren't any hard and fast rules. It's the place for experimentation. So if you're in IT, and if you're a member of the team working on your company's Web site and you think it's boring, chances are good others will, too. Don't be afraid to suggest things (particularly to the marketing types--they're generally open to ideas).
What have you seen online that has surprised you (in a good way) or perhaps made you smile unexpectedly? Or maybe caused you to buy something you didn't think you needed beforehand? You can read more, or comment on my blog entry.
Microsoft: Our Bugs Aren't The Only Problem Attacks that rely on "social engineering" tricks to fool users into visiting malicious Web sites are just as dangerous as any that exploit software vulnerabilities, a Microsoft security researcher argued this week.
Related Stories: McAfee Buys Search-Warning SiteAdvisor McAfee announced Wednesday that it had acquired Boston-based SiteAdvisor to add complementary defenses for customers surfing the Internet.
GAO Chides SEC For Vulnerable Data The Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to control access to its servers, establish controls over passwords, manage access to its systems and data, and take other security-related steps already requested, the report says.
Microsoft Pledges 'Significant' DRM Investment The company said it will increase investments in digital rights management to guard against piracy, and to support the wireless industry as more tunes, pictures, and video clips are sent over the airwaves to mobile phones.
Firefox Jumps 10% Bar Firefox has broken the 10% market share barrier, a Web analytics company said this week, by jumping a quarter percentage point from February to March.
Negroponte Applauds Linux, Knocks Bill Gates Nicholas Negroponte snaps back at Gates' recent criticism of the $100 laptop Negraponte is developing for poor children. He also takes aim at the growing bloat and complexity of new hardware and software releases, including Linux.
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4. Grab Bag: News You Need From Around The Web
Tiny Technology Tracks Small Subjects (Baltimore Sun) Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is using RFID chips to track the movements of bear cubs, once near extinction in the state. It's a pilot project to see whether tiny microchips embedded in the skin between the bears' shoulder blades can replace the large plastic ear tags used for decades.
Research Reveals Phishing Hooks (BBC News) A new academic study says that although many phishing sites were easy to spot, the best were judged real by almost all participants. On average, 5% of those that get phishing E-mails are conned into handing over data.
Financial Service: Not! (Personal Blog) Jeremy Zawodny has an amusing post on his blog about the tribulations of arranging for an electronic wire transfer at his bank. The conclusion, he says: It would be more efficient to stuff an envelope with $100 bills and send it via FedEx to the recipient.
Report: Yahoo May Gain From Adware Click Fraud The report from a Harvard researcher traces what appears to be click fraud that starts with the adware vendor and eventually leads to Yahoo. In between are online marketing companies that sell advertising.
Offbeat Shows Turn Web Into World Wide TV Network From independent producers like Mondo Media to big media companies like MTV, and even kids who post videos on community sites like YouTube.com, the World Wide Web is becoming a sort of worldwide TV network for audiences seeking offbeat entertainment not shown on mainstream television.
Congress Argues Net Neutrality At issue is how much control telecom companies should have over the Internet content on their public networks. Some say they should be able to give priority to content providers who pay the most, while others say such practices will block out new technologies and companies.
Apple Offers Windows On Macs With Boot Camp, software that lets licensed users of Microsoft Windows XP install Windows on their Intel-based Macs, the real loser may be Dell. Thomas Claburn explains.
7. White Papers
Online Payment Fraud Trends, Merchant Practices, And Benchmarks The industry's longest-running and most comprehensive review of online fraud management practices provides 20 pages of best practices and benchmarks, including fraud rates, review rates, reject rates, chargeback recovery, tools used/planned, budgets, and much more. This is a survey of over 400 online merchants, representing over $28 billion of online sales.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.